Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shokry and European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi in Cairo, Egypt on June 1, 2022. Press Photo
CAIRO – 1 June 2022: Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shokry received Wednesday European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, expressing hope to convene the EU-Egypt Association Council soon to endorse the Partnership Priorities Document for 2021-2027.
The minister described the document as a remarkable turning point in institutional cooperation between the two parties in various sectors, including agriculture, irrigation, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, green transition, digitalization, and smart transport.
Minister Shokry similarly stressed the importance of continuing cooperation to face the repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine War on food security, and energy. In that framework, the minister noted that Egypt is ready to export the surplus of the natural gas, LNG, and green hydrogen it produces to Europe.
The minister also presented Egypt's preparations to host COP 27, underlining the necessity of collaboration between Egypt and the EU for the event to succeed. The two parties equally exchanged views on a number of international and regional matters of mutual interest.
European Union Ambassador to Cairo Christian Berger told the Middle East News Agency (MENA) in May that the union supports Egypt to become a major hub of energy in the Middle East, North Africa, and Mediterranean, given its diverse energy resources.
Berger noted that the cooperation between Egypt and the union in the energy sector is good, showcasing that the EU is an observer at the East Mediterranean Gas Forum.
The European diplomat pointed out that gas exports to Europe is a salient matter in light of the continent's endeavors to diversify the sources of gas supplied to its territories.
The envoy explained that Egypt and Cyprus will become quite significant in that framework, disclosing the presence of ongoing negotiations between Egypt and member states on that front.
The ambassador added that the EU is also particularly interested in solar energy, and green hydrogen. Further, he stipulated that the concept of energy efficiency is essential to combating climate change.
Berger showcased in his speech at the 2022 International Conference on Energy Power and Energy Chemistry (EPEC 2022) the cooperation between the EU and Egypt in the oil and gas sector.
Such partnership is focused on capacity building, and merging EU grants with loans provided by the European financial institutions to fund infrastructure projects in the sector.
Ambassador Berger highlighted that the EU is a participant in the presidential initiative aimed at introducing natural gas in 2.3 million households free of charge. The union is also taking part in upgrading Suez Oil Refinery, which is the oldest in the country and that currently employs 6,000 individuals.
The ambassador concluded by underlining the EU's backing to Egypt in the sectors of green economy, and sustainable energy.